Refusing to rest on the laurels of merely hosting and serving as musical guest on tonight’s installment of Saturday Night Live, Donald Glover decided to really show us poor mere mortals up this evening, suddenly dropping a new single and video from his musical alter ego, Childish Gambino, onto the internet just a few minutes ago. Titled “This Is America,” the video sees Glover, shirtless and cheerful, wandering through a violence-filled warehouse that’s presumably acting as a stand-in for the United States, and/or possibly the Purge franchise of films.
You’d be forgiven, from the first few seconds, for thinking “America” was a lighthearted summer jam, as Glover flexes merrily along to the beat. That’s about the time, though, that bagged strangers and guns start coming into play, and the Atlanta creator starts cheerfully, subversively, almost manically blowing people away. In other words, it’s a little intense.
Glover has said that he intends to retire the Childish Gambino moniker sometime in the near future; in the meantime, though, he’s giving himself a grand send-off, heading out on one last tour in the fall.